Experts recommend N95 masks over surgical masks to stop spread of H1N1

In an earlier blog, I told you that the only facial apparatus that is likely to protect you from the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus is what they call a “respirator,” which refers to an N95 or higher filtering facepiece respirator certified by the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Now a new study proves this correct.Bloomberg News is reporting the US government is “reviewing recommendations on the use of surgical masks to protect healthcare workers from flu.”

This is occurring following a study in Beijing that showed surgical masks were ineffective in stopping the spread of the H1N1 virus to workers in 24 hospitals last winter.

However, “thicker versions designed to better fit the face, called N95 masks and made by 3M Co., reduced flu by 75 percent.”

The Department of Health and Human Services reportedly said that only “masks rated N95 or above, which filter at least 95 percent of particles, are effective at blocking flu.”

3M said it would ramp up production of those masks by 10 percent.

You can read more about the masks here.

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